The Falcons finally picked up their first road game in DeKalb last night in a game that was, I suspect, fairly painful to watch. No doubt, we're happy for the win, but there were some long dead times in the second half.
The Huskies are not a very good team. They have been playing a little better...they beat Kent and they battled Toledo tough. For whatever it might mean, last night's game was never in doubt. BG broke out to an 8-0 lead, took a 13-3 lead 4 minutes into the game and their lead was never in single digits again. BG led by as much as 27 points in the second half...that moment came with about 15:00 left in the game...and then BG scored only 11 points for the remaining 15 minutes of the game.
So, it was a win, a road win...but it didn't sound like we played especially well.
A little aside. Coach Dakich used to say the following.
You always remember three things.
The day you got married.
The day your kids were born.
The order depends on who you beat.
NIU shot only 14% in the first half from the field, with 4 made field goals and 15 total points. I'm sure BG played good defense, but we've established that NIU is one of the least productive offensive teams in D1. They are a little up and down lately. Their last four point totals were 34, 74, 25, 67, 64, 41. So, against BG, they were on the down end of the slope.
They ended up shooting only 28% for the game and 15% from beyond the arc. They only shot 61% from the line.
It was a very slow paced game...there were only 59 possessions which is really low, so you expect the stat numbers to be lower. For example, in that kind of game, NIU's 14 turnovers (and BG's 12) are worse than they might be normally. Anyway, BG shot 43%, which is above their season average. The Falcons had .97 points per possession, which is pretty much right on their season average, while they held NIU to .7 points per possession, the lowest allowed by our team this season.
As you can see in the chart below, BG had a huge shooting lead and a small turnover lead. BG did a poor job keeping NIU off the offensive boards and the Huskies did get to the foul line...but the enormous shooting disparity was enough for the Falcons to get the comfortable win.
Individually, A'uston Calhoun led BG with 15 points and 12 rebounds. He shot 5 of 13, so it was a struggle to get there. Richaun Holmes had 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting with 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in 20 minutes played--another efficient and productive game for him.
No one else was in double figures. Luke Kraus had 9 points on 3 treys (3-5). Orr had 7 on 3 of 5 shooting.
Two notes at guard. First, Jordon Crawford came off the bench again...but this time, we did not see the results we saw against Ball State. He shot 1 of 9 from the field, scoring 2 points in 33 minutes. He had 3 assists, 4 steals and 4 turnovers.
The other is Anthony Henderson, who played only 11 minutes. I like Henderson and I think he has scoring potential. He seems to be in a little bit of a slump. In the last three games he has played 40 minutes total and tried only 5 shots. Last night he was only 1 of 2.
BG moves to 9-13 and 4-5 in the MAC. As of this morning, BG is in 6th place in the MAC and currently occupies the 5th spot (if you remove Toledo) in the standings, which would, if it held, mean a bye directly to the Q. We shouldn't put the cart before the horse...BG's next 3 games are @OU, WMU and @Akron...in other words, games against the 3 best teams in the MAC with 2 on the road, so we will see where things stand after that.